Pompeiopolis (Greek: Πομπηϊούπολη) was a Roman city-state in ancient Paphlagonia, situated today in the Taşköprü district, Kastamonu, Turkey. The exact location is 45 km north of Kastamonu, to the north of Taşköprü, in the valley of the Gökırmak (Roman name Amnias, or Amneus). The borders of Pompeiopolis reach the Küre mountains to the north, Ilgaz mountains to the south, Halys river to the east and Pınarbaşı valley to the west. The city's remains today consist of an acropolis, some rock-cut tombs, tumuli, a bridge and remains of houses with mosaic tile floors. It is believed that many more artifacts and remains can be uncovered if further archaeological excavation can be conducted at the Zımbıllı hills within the city boundaries.
Pompeiopolis is said to have been established together with Andrapa-Neapolis by the Roman general and politician Pompey (Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus) in the year 64 BC in the then double province of Bithynia-Pontus. The town, which ranked as a metropolis, was annexed to the vassal princes of Paphlagonia, and in 6 BC, after the death of Deiotaros Philadelphos, the last king of Paphlagonia, was annexed to the Galatia province of the Roman Empire. While the city flourished and grew during this period, it was the metropolis of Paphlagonia from the reign of Antoninus Pius until that of Gallienus. The city was called Sebaste for a short period of time during the patronship of Gnaeus Claudius Severus, Marcus Aurelius' son-in-law. Rare coins surviving from that era bear the inscriptions "Sebaste Metropolis of Paphlagonia".
It is believed that Pompeiopolis was quickly deserted in the late 6th or early 7th centuries AD after the aggressive attacks of Persian or Arab tribes, and as aresult of the defensive military reorganizations of the Byzantine emperor Justinian. These were probably connected with the defensive reorganization of the province. Pompeiopolis soon received the title of autocephalus archdiocese. This region was conquered by the invading Turks in the 11th century; also in the same period, Pompeiopolis became a metropolitan see until the 14th century, when this diocese was suppressed. Among the fourteen titular holders of the Christian diocese are Philadelphus at the First Council of Nicaea, Severus of Constantinople and Theodore of Constantinople.
This ancient city and its remains will be preserved and exhibited in a Museum of Archaeology that is planned to be built in Taşköprü by the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The first exploratory diggings in the area were conducted in 1910; they revealed some columns and mosaic tile panels. But, soon after, a devastating fire that broke out in 1927 in the nearby residential area greatly harmed the ruins. Many of the artifacts that were revealed in the course of those excavations are currently being exhibited in the Museum of Archaeology of Kastamonu. Since 2006 the university of Munich (Germany) is conducting excavations on the archaeological site.
Pompeiopolis remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church.
- Article by Prof. Dr. Nusret ARAS, Rector of the Ankara University
- Pompeiopolis, Catholic Encyclopedia
- Report about excavations of the university of Munich